Friday, August 29, 2014

52 Author Dates ~ Week 33

Phillip Island

Swim In Cold Water 

It wasn’t an ice bucket challenge, as some have excelled in these last few weeks. 

But it was meant to bring awareness... if only to me.

To push, and I mean PUSH me, out of my comfort zone. 

I spent this week on a solitary writing retreat at Phillip Island. More words on the page written on location, my feet on sandy beaches flooded in winter sun. 

Right where my stories are set. 


And I’m grateful. 

During a mid morning walk along the beach where one of my heroines wrestles with all life’s thrown at her, I wondered (for a heartbeat) if I might slip into the ocean and fulfill this week's challenge. 

If there’s water colder than the deep blue sea wrapped around Phillip Island, I’ve yet to find it. And this particular stretch of ocean is a few miles from where my heroine, a shipwreck survivor, is carried to safety.

Glorious Phillip Island ~ even in winter

Good spot to dip in cold water, right? The perfect location to get under the skin of my girl and better understand what it might feel like to bob in icy depths, praying for rescue.


Or... I could’ve returned home to brave the cold waters of our backyard pool.

So, perhaps I chickened out on this one. Perhaps I chose not to risk solitary shivers on a lonely beach, in favour of safer waters. Where family could talk me into the plunge and throw me a towel when they were done laughing. 

And here’s the evidence. (Don't let the sun fool you, folks) 

Surely you didn't think there'd be more of me, did you? 
Me, in a pool. In winter. 

Swimming in water so cold my lungs lost half their capacity to the shock and another quarter to fist clenching pressure I couldn’t fight. Dunking my head took some persuasion, and when I did, the pain jabbed me around the ears so fast I soon forgot my lost breath. 

Lucky for me, my ever-loving son supervised and encouraged this mad experiment. I left the pool when I chose to, (imagine my swift exit) where a fluffy towel AND terry robe awaited.

Not so my poor heroine.

Now, when I edit her shipwreck scenes, I’ll have a better idea of how terrifying cold water can be, and I’ll use my imagination to amplify what it meant for her to float under the cover of night, against jagged rocks, pulled by the smash of the sea ... and the deep green eyes of her fine rescuer. 

Oh, and I’ll be sure to never throw one of my characters into a volcano because I am not doing that challenge. Ever. 


Are you a fan of cold water swimming? What's the coldest swim you've attempted? Did you slip in on purpose or were you pushed? 

Blessings for a wonderful weekend,